Wildlife authorities in Michigan have opened applications for people who would like to participate in the bear and elk hunting season.
In several videos posted on YouTube, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources explained the application and selection process to potential applicants, confirming that the entire process will run from May 11 to June 1.
Applications Open, While Hunting Itself Remains Unclear
The video for bear hunting explained that bear season in Michigan varies depending on whether a hunter is working on the Upper or Lower Peninsula. The Department usually gets about 31,000 applications per year, although it can only give out between 6,000 to 8,000 licenses.
The Department will go on to select hunters for licenses using a preference point drawing system, with the video explaining how applicants can get preference points year on year. The video also pointed out that potential applicants won’t need a base license to apply for the drawing system, although all applicants that get selected will need to purchase a bear license and a base license to hunt.
A similar template goes for elk hunting, as the Department said in its dedicated video – it would select applicants via a drawing system, and all successful applicants will need to purchase base and elk receipts to hunt.
Drawing results for both will be announced on July 6, while the first hunting period will begin on September 1.
The Natural Resources Department already stepped in to help bolster hunting across the state, in preparation for hunting seasons that should start soon. Last Friday, it announced that residents could now complete their hunter education online, even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As a report from News 16 Now confirmed, the Department explained that all eligible students would be able to get temporary hunter education safety certificates online, instead of physical field day classes. They will need the certificates to purchase hunting licenses in the state, and officials have now laid down the criteria for citizens to qualify for the certificates.
Chief Gary Hagler of the DNR Law Enforcement Division, said,
“Safety is our number one priority. We want to do what we can to ensure future hunters have the opportunity to enjoy spring hunting and Michigan’s natural resources.”
The certificates run from now till December 31, but successful applicants will have to take the field day classes as soon as they resume.
Stay-at-Home Orders Bike Out of Hunters’ Fun
Hunters themselves have felt the sting of Michigan’s stay-at-home order, with many of them decrying how much it has affected their favorite outdoor activity.
At the end of April, state Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order to run through the end of this month, as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths spiked. Sadly, that period marked the beginning of spring turkey season in the state – as well as walleye season for those in the Upper Peninsula.
The stay-at-home order restricted travel between residences, meaning that most Michigan residents were unable to travel north to hunt. The restriction also imposed a ban on jet skis, motorboats, and other watercraft. So, turkey hunting was, in effect, impossible.
However, the state government is also working on reopening, as Governor Whitmer recently revealed the MI Safe Start Plan. The plan, which runs through 6 stages, will guide the state through the reopening process, as the government works through the arduous task of reopening the state and protecting lives.